Reggae is a music genre originating in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The name “reggae” comes from a 1968 single from Toots and the Maytals, “Do the Reggay.” Stylistically, reggae incorporates music elements of R&B, jazz, and calypso. Drum and bass leads the signature sound of reggae (where the bass is usually the dominant sound without its high frequencies), but its other most recognizable elements include offbeat rhythms, staccato chords played by guitar or piano (or both) on the offbeats of measures. The tempo of reggae is usually slower than ska but faster than rocksteady.
The lyrics in reggae are typically about social criticism and religious themes, although many other reggae songs discuss love and socializing.
Some contributors to this signature reggae sound include Jackie Jackson and Paul Douglas from Toots and the Maytals, Carlton Barret from Bob Marley and the Wailers, Lloyd Brevett and Lloyd Knibb from The Skatalites, Sly Dunbar, Winston Grennan, and Anthony “Benbow” Creary from The Upsetters.
Reggae spread to other countries, besides Jamaica, and fused with other genres, such as Reggae en Espanol from South America and Caribbean music from the UK. Bob Marley is the most memorable reggae artist, and he brought the genre to Africa when visiting in 1980. In Jamaica, authentic reggae is one of the biggest sources of income.